February 4th, 2014
A recent study from the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs revealed 93 percent of B2B marketing teams are launching projects based on content marketing in 2014, and 73 percent hired an individual or group of professionals to oversee the content marketing strategy.
According to our 2013 Marketing Measurement Survey results, 68% of marketing teams had a content developer to create consistent and meaningful messaging last year. Thus, it appears many marketing teams are evolving rapidly and placing greater emphasis on content marketing to drive growth and sales.
To stay ahead of competitors, industry-leading marketing teams are investing in specialized campaigns and personnel to optimize different tactics that grow revenue, such as content marketing. These roles must also monitor campaign successes with accurate, detailed analytics to determine ROI and future budgetary allocation.
Top marketers determine what strategies and tactics could generate the highest returns for a business, marketers by researching successful industry trends and compare their efforts to those of competitors. Without this insight, creative and budgetary decisions will be made without any sense of industry context.
To avoid playing pin the tail on the donkey with marketing dollars, take the time to investigate industry best practices and compare to in-house campaigns. For example: has your company boosted its support and focus on content marketing for 2014? Tell us about it in the 2014 Marketing Measurement Survey and see what industry peers are implementing with content campaigns as well. Plus, participants will be entered into a drawing for a free $500 AmEx gift card!
What The Best Do
Content marketing is much more than simply adding a blog to your website a few times a week. It requires unique, valuable, data-driven information to be created, posted, shared and updated regularly on a variety of digital platforms throughout the day. The information should be used as part of a discussion, rather than a static post. Thus, individual roles are now dedicated to these projects – which require creativity, expertise in media platforms and knowledge of the subject matter.
The Content Marketing Institute’s research pinpointed some best practices the most effective B2B content marketers are implementing in 2014 to stay ahead of the game:
- 66% created a documented content marketing strategy for the year
- 86% hired an individual to manage the content marketing strategy
- 15 different tactics will be used to distribute the content
- 7 social media platforms will be leveraged to share the content
- 39% of the marketing budget is allocated to content strategies
- 35% of marketing teams feel challenged to create engaging content on a regular basis and have made it a top priority
With content holding greater importance in 2014, it should be no surprise that budgets are shifting toward creative dissemination of information. Marketing teams are depending on content to increase brand awareness, lead generation, customer acquisition, thought leadership and engagement – as well as website traffic and customer loyalty. To achieve these goals, the study found 48% of marketing teams plan to increase their B2B content marketing spending this year, while 32% anticipate maintaining the status quo from 2013.
Gotta Mix It Up
Common misconception: content marketing is mostly blogs and whitepapers. The truth is, the most successful content marketing strategies incorporate a wide range of tactics so as to effectively reach audiences on all platforms. The research listed the top content marketing strategies based on efficacy in generating leads:
- In-person events
- Case studies
- Research reports
- Online articles
The content being created should not only come in different forms, but also bring unique perspectives on each topic. Try to tell the audience a story when demonstrating the value of a product or service. Select the most valuable statistics or insights for downloadable content such as whitepapers or webinars to encourage more leads. Optimize all information across multiple platforms by repurposing certain points for blog posts, social media blasts or video content.
And the content created for each tactic must then be shared effectively via social media channels to optimize audience reach. The top five social media channels for B2B content marketing are: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+.